Vital Statistics:
Place of Origin: England
Group: Guard dog
Height: males 30 in. minimum, females 27 1/2 in. minimum
Weight: males 160 lbs. or more, females 150 lbs. or more
Life span: 9-13 yrs.
Trainability: high
Good with children: yes
Good with other pets: yes with small dogs

March’s Dog of the Month

This huge, powerful dog is really a pussycat loving and gentle with its family.

The Mastiff has been found recorded in accounts of battles during the Roman invasion of Britain. In Medieval England, they were used for bear-baiting and fighting. It is believed the Mastiff is a descendant of the Tibetan Mastiff and was brought to Europe by the Phoenicians. Interest in the Mastiff began waning in the 17th century, but after World War II, due the care and concern of American breeders, the Mastiff has made a comeback. Greek mythology depicts a huge Mastiff-like 3 headed dog with a serpent’s tail a mane of snakes and a lion’s claws named Cerberos. Guarding the entrance to Hades, Cerberos let souls into Hades and prevented them from escaping.

What does the Mastiff look like?

The Mastiff is a huge, muscular dog. Height is 27 1/2-30 inches tall minimum. Weight is 150-160 lbs. minimum, but some have been known to reach over 200 lbs. Its head is wide and heavy with slightly pendent lips. Eyes are small and dark hazel. The nose is large and black with a black face mask extending around the eyes. The tail is tapered and reaches the hocks. The Mastiff’s coat is short and thick. Colors are fawn, silver, brindle, tiger and apricot.

What is the Mastiff’s temperament?

Despite its huge size the Mastiff is very good with children. Care must be taken though as it can unintentionally hurt a young child due to the size of the dog. The Mastiff is a very affectionate dog, loyal and protective of its family, wary of strangers. It is intelligent and easily trained with a gentle hand. The Mastiff can adapt to apartment living as long as it has long walks and enough exercise. The Mastiff is known as a gentle giant.

What are the Mastiff’s uses?

The Mastiff is an excellent guard and watch dog. It is used by the police and military. Most of all the Mastiff is a great companion dog.

Possible Health Issues

Hip/elbow dysplasia, heart problems including cardiomyopathy, pulmonic stenosis, mitral dysplasia, subaortic steonosis, CCL injuries, eye diseases, bloat/gastric torsion, cystinuria (a genetic kidney defect), cancer.

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